Wednesday probably seemed like the end of days for influencers, publishers, advertisers and everyone else who relies on social media to reach their audience. Facebook and Instagram experienced a widespread outage that left many users unable to access their pages or post updates.
Things appeared to be back to normal by Thursday afternoon. In a tweet, Facebook offered a cryptic explanation for the outage, saying a “server configuration change” was to blame. Besides saying its systems are now recovering, the social media giant did not elaborate on the technical difficulties.
Even though Facebook and Instagram are back online, it seems safe to say that Wednesday’s outage created headaches for just about everyone. Everyone except Twitter, which Facebook had to resort to using to stay in touch with its users, and Telegram, a messaging app that seized the moment.
Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services. We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.— Facebook (@facebook) March 14, 2019
Telegram founder Pavel Durov took a victory lap on Thursday to brag about an influx of new users. “I see 3 million new users signed up for Telegram within the last 24 hours. Good. We have true privacy and unlimited space for everyone,” Durov announced on his personal Telegram feed.
(It’s worth noting that Telegram and Facebook aren’t exactly rivals. As Mashable points out, Telegram has far more in common with WhatsApp, which incidentally is owned by Facebook. Both apps provide messaging services to users free of charge. The biggest difference is Telegram is cloud-based.)
Even though Durov did not mention Facebook by name or link his app’s sudden growth to the social platform’s technical difficulties, an anonymous Telegram employee was all too happy to connect the dots. “These outages always drive new users,” the unnamed employee told TechCrunch.